An overjoyed Duke of Sussex described how his baby boy “is absolutely to-die-for” as he announced that he and the Duchess of Sussex had welcomed a son.
A thrilled Harry, speaking on camera at Windsor Castle’s Royal Mews, revealed that Meghan had given birth early on Monday morning and it was the “most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined”.
The seventh in line to the throne baby boy – an eighth great-grandchild for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh – arrived at 5.26am, weighing 7lb 3oz.
Congratulations flooded in from around the world, with Prime Minister Theresa May wishing the couple “all the best at this happy time” and former US first lady Michelle Obama tweeting: “Congratulations, Meghan and Harry! Barack and I are so thrilled for both of you and can’t wait to meet him.”
Meghan’s former Suits co-star and onscreen love interest Patrick J Adams said: “Just heard that the world just got heavier by 7 pounds and 3 ounces. Much love to him and his incredible parents. ”
The as-yet-unnamed baby boy, who was overdue, was believed to have been born in the sanctuary of Frogmore Cottage – the Sussexes’ home on the Windsor Estate.
But the Daily Mail reported that Meghan had her son at a London hospital, possibly The Portland.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “We are unable to confirm speculation about individuals who may or may not have been cared for at The Portland Hospital.”
Harry added: “I’m very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy earlier this morning, a very healthy boy.
“Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.
“How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension but we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the love and support from everybody out there.
“It’s been amazing so we just wanted to share this with everybody.”
Harry was at his wife’s side during the birth and was clearly moved by the experience.
“It was amazing, absolutely incredible and, as I said, I’m so incredibly proud of my wife,” he said
“As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I’m just over the moon.”
The palace confirmed in a statement: “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs.
“The baby weighs 7lb 3oz.
“The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth.”
The Queen and Philip, grandfather the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all said to be delighted with the news.
The palace statement also mentioned the siblings of Harry’s late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash when he was 12.
“Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news,” the statement said.
Meghan’s mother is with the new family of three at Frogmore Cottage.
“The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage,” the palace said.
Thomas Markle, the duchess’ estranged father, has offered his congratulations to the royal couple on the news of their firstborn’s safe arrival.
Mr Markle, a former TV lighting director, told The Sun: “I am proud that my new grandson is born into the British royal family and I am sure that he will grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity, and honour.”
The duke and duchess’s Instagram account @SussexRoyal also announced the birth saying: “It’s a boy! Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to announce the birth of their child.”
The baby’s sex was a surprise for the delighted couple, who chose not to find out what they were having.
Later, Harry and Meghan thanked the public for their kindness via a post on Instagram which said: “Their Royal Highnesses thank you for your support and kindness during this exceptionally joyful time in their lives as they welcome their baby boy.”
The palace confirmed Harry will still go ahead with his official visit to The Hague on Thursday when he is due to launch the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games 2020.
The Sussexes’ baby will only be three days old, but Meghan has the help of her mother Doria as she adjusts to life with a newborn.
Royal fans are waiting to find out what the baby will be called, with Harry saying they had been working on it but were “still thinking about names”.
The first glimpse of baby Sussex with his proud parents is due, according to the duke, in around two days’ time, with a small pool of media.
The latest addition to the Windsor family is a first cousin of William and Kate’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Ahead of the birth, Harry and Meghan made a personal decision to keep their arrangements private, amid speculation that they had opted for a home birth.
A formal notice of the baby’s arrival, placed on an ornate easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, did not feature the customary doctors’ signatures, indicating Harry and Meghan wished to keep their chosen medical team private.
They also said they would only share the news of the baby’s arrival once they had had a chance to celebrate privately as a family.
News that Meghan was in labour was confirmed by the palace at around 2pm on Monday, but in fact the baby was already more than eight hours old.
Baby Sussex’s birth comes less than a year after Harry married American former actress Meghan in a glittering ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, became engaged following a whirlwind 16-month romance after going on a blind date in London.
The duke had told how “all the stars were aligned” when they met.
News they were expecting a baby was announced in October at the start of the couple’s busy 16-day tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
Harry branded the baby “our little bump” while Meghan said they “were nearly there” in the final weeks of her pregnancy.
Unless the Queen steps in at the last minute, the baby will not be an HRH or a prince due to rules limiting titles within the royal family which were introduced by King George V more than 100 years ago.
His title is expected to be Earl of Dumbarton – as the eldest son of a duke he is entitled to use one of Harry’s lesser titles as a courtesy title.